The team left to make their base camp scout the area and finally find a nice cave they can use. After some rearrangement of the boulders around the area, they find that they’ve made a nice defendable hole. As they’re setting up the interior of the cave, Harlan notices that Drack seems taller than before. “Drack, have you grown recently?” asked Harlan. “Wha???” replied Drack as he munched on a claw of the Hook Horror. “Nevermind, I suppose I’m thinking of something else. Hum. Those petroglyphs over on the back wall remind me of something. Now, what was it again?” said Harlan as he moved to the far wall to stare at an empty wall.
Meri wondered again how he got shafted with all the work. Demetrion, the only other SKT member, was busy pouring over the book that Harlan had shown him. Lord Von Buren seems occupied in cleaning off the mud from his cloak, Harlan seem intent to study the empty back wall, and the dragonborn was stuffing his maw with some indescribable mess. Meri went back to unpacking and inventorying all the gear when he noticed that the rations seem to be less than he expected, about three days less. He tried to estimate how long they had been down here, but without a sun they had no real idea how time was passing. As Meri continues to set up the base camp, Harlan walked over to help Demetrion decipher the book. “Here,” he said as he pointed to a sketch in the book, “this one is repeated here and here.” “I see,” replied Demetrion, “and this one looks like a control panel of some sort.” Slowly they figure out that there is an amulet the opens the main control panel for the machine/castle.
The team in the Castle (Bridget, Vician, Ash, Aramis, and Riven) start towards the second room. “Wait,” says Riven, “look at the markings on the floor.” "Those look like rank insignias, " said Captain Aramis. After Bridget gets shocked a few times, the team figures out that the security lock is tied to their rank somehow. The second room is a storage room. Vician throws a sunrod into the room to light it up and a snake monster thing jumps up then two more females join in the fight. After another fierce battle, the team search the room and find 5 sunrods that might work, a suit of armor, and a set of rope. The storage room has two exits, one to the west and one to the south. The south hallway has darkness that even low light vision cannot penetrate and it seems to have a blue black miasma like the mournlands.
After all the bruises the team took, they decide to head back to camp. They use two sets of rope to build a bridge over the lava. After regrouping at the cave, they return to the castle with Drack, Capt Aramis, Demitron, Ash, and Meri. They find that the room west of the storage room is a barracks. Half the beds are unmade which might mean they were called to duty suddenly. While examining the suit of armor, Meri is attacked by a Gelaniaus cube. Meri and Drack get sucked up into cube, but the cube is is destroyed quickly.
In the barracks they find two sunrods and another suit of armor. A grill behind the bunk to the west wall has a tunnel that looks like a water storage of some sort, except that the water is gross and looks like blood. The tunnel turns left and leads into a lab. Meri finds a brainbeak and brains in jars in the lab.